King Lear Essay Authority Themes

3783 words - 15 pages

King Lear Essay-AuthorityIn this world, people constantly take things for granted. In the last century, the world has seen many dictators, tyrants, and many leaders who hesitated to take action against them. Overtime many leaders have abused the authority they were given, or they overreached their bounds. Many also hesitated to do what was truly right, in order to save themselves the trouble. In a time where freedom, safety, and equality are so important, authority figures need to learn to use power responsibly. In the play King Lear by William Shakespeare, many characters abuse their authority, causing negative things to happen. Most of them learn from it which endows them with new wisdom and the ability to use their authority responsibly. In some cases, people overreach the appropriate level of their authority, making irrational decisions which cause them to have unpleasant experiences. This grants them new sight of their responsibility to use their power wisely. Additionally, people at times exploit their authority by misleading other people, this selfish decision results in negative consequences. Through these consequences, they are able to realize that they should use their authority responsibly. And finally, when people misuse their authority by failing to exert it properly, it results in hesitation when making decisions, which results in negative experiences. This negative consequence allows this person to realize that they have to use their authority in a conscientious way. Moreover, people who misuse their authority make unintelligent decisions resulting in undesirable outcomes. Through these negative experiences, they realize that their authority must be used in a responsible manner.In some instances, characters overreach the bounds of their authority, making irrational decisions which cause them to have unpleasant experiences. These negative experiences give them the ability to realize that their authority is to be used sensibly. The character of King Lear starts off the play by displaying his power to all people present at the ceremony where he will divide his lands. Unfortunately he is in a mood that anyone whom he believes disrespects his authority is to be banished. Cordelia refuses to profess her love to her father in order to receive a piece of his land. King Lear reacts to this quite irrationally; he assumes that Cordelia merely does not love him. Being his favorite daughter, this strikes an enormous blow to Lear's ego. So in his haste, Lear irrationally decides to use his authority irresponsibly in order to banish Cordelia from his lands. Lear does not realize the repercussions of his actions:Here I disclaim all my paternal care,Propinquity and property of blood,And as a stranger to my heart and meHold thee from this for ever. (i, i, 115-118)Lear believes that he is all-mighty and deserves exceptional treatment from his daughters. He believes that he should be showered with love and affection before he gave them anything. Lear...

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